A little background: The brake discs you buy don't actually affect the braking very much at all. It really depends on the pads you choose. Don't be tempted to go for drilled and grooved discs, as there's really not much need (on our cars) except for looking pretty. General consensus is that if you're going to be doing track days, go for a disc with say 6-10 grooves. That'll help clean the pad surface and help a little with the cooling too. You could do a lot worse than the OE-Brembo discs GSF sell at about £40 a set.
The real key component is the pad. Pads are compared by their coefficient of friction (c/f) rating at different temperatures, and you can more or less guarantee that the higher the c/f rating the better at braking the pad is. However bear in mind that this is usually at the expense of comfort: high c/f pads usually squeal at slow speeds, some border on the unbearable. Some race pads aren't very good when cold, though that's not to say they all aren't. Also generally high c/f pads can be very rough on the discs, causing them to warp prematurely or just wear them down very VERY quickly.
Tyres are more important
The ultimate factor in braking is without a doubt the grip available between the tyres and the ground. Don't think fancy brakes are going to stop you any quicker in the wet or in damp conditions.
Some people say that the only way to guarantee improved braking is by fitting better tyres.
Look at any 0-100-0 test and see the results of the 100-0 braking times. They're much closer than you might think. Why? Because most of them are using road tyres. Fit slicks however and it would be a different story.
However in practice most people will see a definite improvement in brake modulation, resistance to fade, initial bite and even overall braking power by doing something as simple as upgrading your pads. Try it for yourself.
Upgrade the rears or just the fronts?
This is always guaranteed to start a debate. Some say you should upgrade the rears as well to maintain equal brake distribution and give ultimately more braking force, and others say that because of the weight shift forward under braking the rears can't do very much stopping at all, and its a waste of money.
Both views are valid, and without proper testing I guess we shall never know. Think of it this way though... a set of decent rear pads will cost you £50 and last you for years... if you want to go the whole hog then you could do a lot worse than invest in some decent rear pads.
A couple of links on this topic:
For the record, if anyone can find me an article saying that upgrading the rear pads DOESN'T make much difference, let me know and I'll include it here
Ensuring your brake fluid is up to the job is very important. If not, you'll boil your brake fluid while braking heavily.
This thread explains a little background...
Some c/f ratings
Bear in mind that the c/f rating changes at different temperatures, but below are the some of the ratings I could find. If you find any more or see that these are wrong let me know
Ferodo DS2500 0.5cf MAX
Ferodo DS3000 0.62cf MAX
Mintex M1144 0.45cf
GreenStuff 0.48cf cold, 0.52cf at 175C, 0.4cf at 500C
TarOx .112 0.35cf, 0.38cf MAX
TarOx .113 0.35cf, 0.40cf MAX
TarOx .114 0.43cf, 0.47cf MAX
Red Dot XF 0.39cf
Pagid Black......0.36 cold, 0.38 @ 100C, 0.43 @ 300C, 0.45 MAX
Pagid Blue........0.4 cold, 0.42 @ 100C, 0.43 @ 300C, 0.46 MAX
Pagid Orange....0.39 cold, 0.40 @ 100C, 0.43 @ 300C, 0.49 MAX
Pagid Black......0.44 cold, 0.47 @ 100C, 0.49 @ 300C, 0.54 MAX
Pagid Grey.......0.50 cold, 0.54 @ 100C, 0.57 @ 300C, 0.62 MAX
Pagid Yellow.....0.40 cold, 0.43 @ 100C, 0.47 @ 300C, 0.49 MAX
Firstly this is just a short list I found on a forum of some guy's reviews of different brake pads, which I found very useful:
I found these on an internet forum, from some random guy who seems to know what he's talking about
For those who don't know me, I've been on a quest to improve the performance of my S8's brakes almost since the day I bought the car. In 3-½ years and 50k miles, I tried many different brake pads, both street and track, and I thought I'd share my experiences/thoughts/comments on the pads I've used. The 0-10 rating, from street to full race, is my opinion of course.
...... Rating = 0
...... cf = 0.42
...... Actually a Federal-Mogul (who owns Ferodo) OEM type compound with Ferodo's name on the box. When overheated, it leaves deposits on the rotor, which then feels like it's warped. I'm not sure if these are still available, but they're not recommended.
...... Rating = 1
...... cf = 0.38
...... Low dust. The pad becomes slightly compressible when hot, and the resulting soft pedal feels like the brakes need to be bled.
Pagid RS4-2-1 Black:
...... Rating = 2
...... cf = 0.45
...... Excellent high performance street pad. Quiet, moderate dust. I've never tracked this pad but it might be OK at an autocross.
Pagid RS4-2 Blue:
...... Rating = 3
...... cf = 0.48
...... Another excellent high performance street pad, though it may squeal slightly when cold. The pad should be fine at an autocross, but it will overheat badly on a road course, where new pads will literally melt away in 30 minutes.
...... Rating = 5
...... cf = 0.50
...... This is the closest thing I've seen to a dual use pad, excellent on the street but also light duty track. Don't be surprised if this pad squeals somewhat on the street when cold.
<<< Pads below this point should be considered “Track Only” >>>
Pagid RS4-4 Orange:
...... Rating = 7
...... cf = 0.52
...... Very good track pad. When it's cold, friction is low, and it squeals like a scalded cat. On a track known for being hard on brakes, expect this pad to fade.
Pagid RS14 Black:
...... Rating = 8
...... cf = 0.60
...... An excellent track pad. This is a ceramic compound with low thermal conductivity, and as a result, it reduces the likelihood of fade from boiling brake fluid. The coefficient of friction peaks at a relatively low 500 oC, but because it falls away gracefully, this pad never really feels like it fades. With it's excellent cold friction, this would be a good autocross pad. It could even be a good street pad, except that when the pad is cold, rotor wear is extremely high. Since the RS14 is not available for our rear calipers, you should use the Ferodo DS3000 in the rear to maintain brake bias.
...... Rating = 9
...... cf = 0.62
...... In every way, an outstanding track pad, and the high cf results in a very firm pedal. Though cold friction is also excellent, don't ever think about using this pad on the street. When cold, I've never heard any pad squeal louder; it's borderline painful. Because the iron content of this compound is >50%, the brake dust is more-or-less corrosive to aluminum wheels and can quickly stain them badly. Even when using these pads only on track, wipe your wheels clean every evening.
Whichever pad compound you select, be sure to use it both front and rear to maintain brake bias and best performance. On the street, I'm currently using and satisfied with the Pagid RS4-2-1 Black, but I prefer the Ferodo DS2500. The “street” pads all have good friction when ice cold, which is sometimes lacking with full race pads. On the track, I currently prefer the Ferodo DS3000.
Views from members of the club
I've only used standard discs, but was dead impressed with Mintex M1144 pads. A bit grabby when they're cold, but work an absolute treat .. no fade on the track either. I'll definitely use 'em again
As for brake squealing .. at first I got loads, but I think I just didn't use enough copper grease. It stopped after a while, so didn't bother putting any more on!
I've only tried Black Diamond Combi's with Standard Mintex pads. I'd say it's a good pairing.
I thought the standard set up on the 6 was good, but fitting just the BD's first, I was surprised at the increased stopping power.
I would have just stuck with this combo, if I wasn't offered a complete set of Mintex pads (standard) at a cheap price.
After fitting these, I have enjoyed a quality set up that gives you confidence under braking. These pads are a slight upgrade of the original standard pads and this shows, not only in the grip of the pad, but in the life of them too.
An easy and affordable improvement that is well worth the effort......not to mention the looks
I'm a real advocate of the OE-spec Brembo discs and Textar pads from GSF. £19 each for discs, and about £20 for a set of 4 pads.
For normal road/occasional fast road driving, these are absolutely fine and stand up well. Even when used for trackday, they didn't start to fade until very late in the day.
With constant fast road driving, life is around 10,000 miles.
Now running, Ferodo DS2500 @ £70 from Tweeks, still good value. A pad like this will be quite dependant on the disc you run it on.
Below comments are based on use of Brembo OE spec discs with DS2500s.
Seems to take quite a long time to bed these pads in (more so than usual), and for the first 1000 miles or so they were fairly poor from cold. However, once bedded in they give noticeable better braking than std.
A set of DS2500s have lasted about 4000 road miles, and 2 trackdays so far, and are still going strong. Performance at Oulton park (as indicated by the pictures) is absolutely amazing - zero fade, zero "f*ck shit" moments
Only downside about constant fast road/track use on soft discs like the Brembos is that they WILL warp. I've been through 4 sets of discs in this time.
Other slight side effect is squeeking - high metal content in the pads means they do tend to make a noise on lighter braking.
I think this setup is good value for money - you can have over 3 sets of Brembo's for the price of a set of BD Combis.
Bought the car with standard discs and EBC Greenstuff pads, and I was amazed at the braking. I've always gone for Red Dot grooved discs and pads in the past but the setup I have at the moment seems far superior to anything I've tried before.
Did a trackday with them and didn't get them to fade although I only did about 4 laps at a time as I was weary of what people said to me! A good pad I'd say, no squealing at all and for general use seemed great to me. I'll be upgrading to the Ferodo DS2500 next I think.
Update: I've gone for the Brembo OE discs and Ferodo DS2500 pads all round (with DOT 5.1 fluid) and I'm amazed at the difference. What an incredible setup. Massive braking force from these pads compared to standard and you'll never get them to fade. Pricey, but without a doubt an incredible pad
Tarrox G88 front discs and EBC Greenstuff pads all round / Std rear discs
Tarrox are excellent bit pricey but worth the money IMO. Greenstuff pads IMO are fine need a bit of time to warm up but have done a track day on them and had no fade at all
Black Diamond Combi discs, standard Mintex pads (at front).
Never had any brake fade and pad/disc wear is as expected
Only ever used Black Diamond Combi's (drilled & grooved) with Predator Pads and they're fab! No fade at all, get 2 sometimes 3 trackdays out of the pads. Take a few stops to heat up, so not the best for a cold winters morning, but you just have to remember that. I've never had any problems on that front Pretty good value for money too. Demon Thiefs do the discs & pads for £205 all in last time I had them (September)
Having read one review of BD Combi's with Predator pads, I just thought I'd have to put my 2p's worth in.
They are shocking. And by that I mean downright awful. I wish i'd never changed from standard pads and discs, which were superb for normal driving, fast road driving and track use.
I have the discs and pads up front and were put on at the same time as new standard pads at the back and a replacement of fluid. So it should all be good... but no.
From cold the setup is awful, there's a horrible spongy quality to the pedal that doesnt go even once warmed up. There is no nice initial sharpness making urban motoring from junction to junction slow and annoying, and anything where a quick sharp stab is needed turns into more of a horrible cushioned wallowy feeling.
Once warmed up i seriously believe this setup to have less ultimate braking force than standard. I have never found myself getting so far as ABS quite so often before and have had several scary moments on roads i know well where the brakes just weren't up to it as they once were.
Sorry to be so negative, but i really am that dissapointed. Can only hope next track day will make me smile once again....
EDIT: After last track day I went on (oulton) they got a lot better and i rate them as a good combo now.
I've not tried that many out, but I can say that on my old car, I couldn't kill Brembo max disks, they wouldn't warp, twist, crack or anything, and I really abused them (lighting cigs off them after use etc)
OEM disks and motor spare special pads (£12 a set)
Normal everyday driving the braking was fine, had no course to complain at all, they worked well in the wet and dry (town driving)
Once up to temp on the back roads these pads started to fade badly. Coming over a fell road I had to stop in one of the passing places and let the things cool down a bit, they harderned up and seem to get a gloss coated surface, I then had to brake them in again. Changed them after 3 months because I valued my life.
OEM disks and pads
these disks and pads are good. They stop me when I want in wet and dry weather. Far better than the own brand stuff I had on before these.
(due for replacement in around 4,000 miles) Think I will stick with these. I am not sure if the "better" make pads and disks are worth the extra expense until you start to get over the £100 mark.
I've had OE type sets from ECP and GSF, which worked ok, but I've now got Ferodo 2500's and Brembo OE discs at the front. They took a while to bed in, during which time the initial bite was pretty poor. I ran them for a few hundred miles of easy braking like this. In the end I did a couple of big stops in a row (0-100) which resulted in clouds of smoke and much more initial bite. They stop well, the limiting factor being the ABS and my tyres, although I think they may be more suited to those that are heavy on their brakes and/or intend to do track days.
Thats them well bedded on the rallye now, and i'm not too keen. Feel a bit wooden but there's a lack of bite in the middle of the travel that just feels concerning.
Dont get me wrong, they're what you'd expect for the money, they're just not 1144's.
Best I had on the 6 were Red Dot drilled and grooved with std pads. The std discs kept warping but the pads were fine.
On my CTR I have been using Ferrodo DS2500's and they were fine until my discs warped
EBC Turbo Groove discs and Greenstuff pads
These were very impressive for about 3-4000 mls. Then started to fade very badly and discs showed heavy fatigue. After around 10k my discs were blue and covered in cracks
Black Diamond Combi discs and Predator pads
The predator pads are truely terrible from cold. They sent me clean across too many a junction in the sleepy mornings. They seem to take a lot of heat to start working properly. Once warm they are great. Only problem is after one straight they are stone cold again and shite just when you need them
The Combi discs lasted just 12k with this set up (totally the fault of the pads IMHO
ATE Power discs and Ferodo DS2500's
Only had these on a few days. Initial indications are good. I have had to used them in one poo your pants moment already and the performance was far greater than that of the combi and predator combo of late.
Kev says they will carry on bedding in and just get better and better too will report back once they have a few more miles on them
Another great part of the Ferodo pad is that it is physically larger and covers the whole running area of the disc. This means no lip will be left and 100% of the disc is used to help you stop
mr swampy s16
After initially using ATE Power Disks with Greenstuff pads I found them awful not as good as the standard set up, and I also had a lot of peddal judder.
So off to Demon Tweeks I treck "good pads for an s16 please"
"WE HAVE THESE ON CLEARANCE DUE TO DAMAGED BOX, PAGID BLUE FAST ROAD £25 THE SET"
"I'll take them" says I and I'm glad I did, they are amazing, by far the best combo I've ever had.
A little bit of warming up is needed but gently pressing the brake as I reverse out of the drive is enough to get them up to temp.
I like them so much ive just ordered the same combo again ready for my mot.
________________________________________always in stock, just PM me to order